Withings, a maker of several consumer and B2B connected health devices once owned by Nokia, has announced the close of a $60 million Series B round. The raise was co-headed by Gilde Healthcare, Idinvest Partners and Bpifrance. BNP Paribas Développement, ODDO BHF Private Equity and Adelie Capital also participated.
The company has also appointed a new global medical advisory board that includes Dr. John Halamka, Dr. Stéphane Laurent and Craig Lipset.
WHAT THEY DO
The French company was founded back in 2008 with a focus on internet of things health devices, such as smart scales, connected blood-pressure monitors and sleep trackers. The company took a major step into wearables in 2014 with the launch of its first fitness tracker designed to resemble an analog watch.
Two years later the company announced that it was being purchased by Nokia for €170 million, but just two years later was bought back from the Finnish tech company by cofounder Eric Carreel, and continues to sell a range of smartwatches, trackers, blood cuffs, scales and sleep trackers directly to consumers.
And while these products were always on the table for wellness programs, the company expanded its focus on B2B with a new business division, Withings Med Pro. Its first offerings included a data collection management and analysis hub designed for researchers, behavior change programs and other similar organizations; and the remote patient monitoring platform for providers.
WHAT IT'S FOR
Withings aims to scale its B2B division globally, and accelerate development of new consumer devices. The company also said that these funds will support 100 new hires in the U.S. and France bolstering its R&D, sales and marketing capabilities.
“I strongly believe in technology’s ability to transform society’s health by allowing anyone to regularly monitor their vitals from home and involve health professionals in this process," Carreel, who serves as president, said in a statement. "Today, we are in an exciting time where medicine is becoming personalized, continuous, and based on data analysis, and I am proud Withings is at the heart of this revolution. With funding from like-minded partners, we can scale our efforts globally and continue to invest in new technologies and AI tools that can detect and predict medical conditions.”
THE LARGER TREND
Like telemedicine, remote monitoring has enjoyed newfound support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health bodies have removed many of the legal and regulatory barriers, and a recent consumer survey highlighted increased confidence among those managing chronic conditions with the technology.
Over the connected consumer health space, Withings' watches and wearables are directly competing with the likes of Apple and Fitbit – the latter of whom is still undergoing an acquisition by Google thanks to renewed regulatory scrutiny from the E.U.
ON THE RECORD
"We have combined technology and medical science during the past ten years to create an unrivaled portfolio of devices that continually and accurately measure a vast array of health parameters," Withings CEO Mathiew Letombe said in a statement. "With the healthcare industry increasingly embracing this technology and data, it has enthusiastically turned to Withings as a natural partner. Our devices enjoy some of the highest retention levels, cover more health vitals and work with more operating platforms than any other player in the business. The new influx of funding and medical expertise will help us bring even more exciting solutions to the market, making the possibilities for the next ten years boundless.”